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Thread: Mandolins are Cool

  1. #1

    Default Mandolins are Cool

    I've been a fiddle and keyboard player most of my life, and play some guitar (poorly) too. I would pick up a friend's mandolin from time to time but never really thought seriously about getting my own until a year or so ago. After looking around and saving some money, I pulled the trigger this last summer when my Pava A found me. I play it most every day, sometimes for too long (says my mostly-tolerant wife). I still enjoy playing my other instruments, but none of them ever demanded my attention to the degree that the mandolin has. I could probably think through many reasons why that is, but really it just comes down to the fact that the mandolin is cool. I look cool playing it, I feel cool holding it, it is cool to look at, and most importantly it sounds cool. I'm not just talking about my mandolin, though it is definitely super cool, but pretty much all mandolins. In the last six months I've played Flatiron, Gibson, Northfield, Passernig, Turkey Creek, Morrell, iii, Collings, Breedlove, Eastman, Kentucky, Brentrup, Phoenix, Kay, Ellis, and Weber mandolins, and probably a few others I'm forgetting. They were all very cool instruments, even the Kay (well one of them was a stinker, but with new strings and a setup it might a cool mandolin). And judging by the opinions of people here, there are many many more cool mandolins out there, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them.

    Now playing a mandolin certainly does not automatically make one cool (I may feel cool, but my friends wouldn’t describe me as such), but the research shows mandolin players are much more likely to be cool people than the general population. So congratulations, most of you, on being a cool person playing a cool instrument. But don't let it go to your head, keep cool!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Great post, welcome to the fan club. :-)

    I play a bunch of other instruments too, but mandolin is currently the main one I am trying to progress on and gets most of my practice time these days.

    In my case I sometimes think about taking up violin one day, I can chase all the cats out of the neighborhood for a while too. :-)
    Davey Stuart tenor guitar (based on his 18" mandola design), TC octave mandolin.
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    They are cool, for a fact. I tried playing guitar and it was boring. I have progressed farther on the mandolin in a short time than ever on a guitar. I think the reason is that the mandolin is fun!

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  7. #4
    Registered User MandoMN18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    It sounds like you may be like me in the fact that my poor fiddle has been taking a back seat to the mandolin ever since I started playing. There really is something about it that has stolen my heart. I think not have to worry so much about intonation as compared to the fiddle makes it very freeing. Happy playing!

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  9. #5
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Mandolins are too cool
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  11. #6
    Registered User Cindy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    What should I say to people who when I tell them I play the mandolin say, "Oh is that like a ukulele?" It makes me homicidal. This has happened three or four times. Certain "friends" like to bait me by saying, "Tell me again how is a mandolin not like a ukulele." Obviously my reaction is only encouraging them.

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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy View Post
    What should I say to people who when I tell them I play the mandolin say, "Oh is that like a ukulele?" It makes me homicidal. This has happened three or four times. Certain "friends" like to bait me by saying, "Tell me again how is a mandolin not like a ukulele." Obviously my reaction is only encouraging them.
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  15. #8

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy View Post
    What should I say to people who when I tell them I play the mandolin say, "Oh is that like a ukulele?" It makes me homicidal. This has happened three or four times. Certain "friends" like to bait me by saying, "Tell me again how is a mandolin not like a ukulele." Obviously my reaction is only encouraging them.
    I have a friend and band mate that does this, too. Ask them if there is a body of work like bluegrass music for ukulele, because, no offense to ukulele, it isn't the same!

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  17. #9

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

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  19. #10
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    And then there's this guy ….. " Pretty much Way Cool" I have to say …. Not Jethro but then nobody is. R/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4-8GzYk0RM
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  20. #11
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Ukuleles can be a different kind of cool.
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  21. #12
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Ukuleles can be a different kind of cool.
    Yup... they have there place in Music.. also you can collect and stash more in a smaller place..

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  22. #13

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Fortunately coolness is not a zero-sum quality, plenty to go around. We've got a vibro-slap which is pretty cool, at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoMN18 View Post
    I think not have to worry so much about intonation as compared to the fiddle makes it very freeing.
    This definitely is a contributing coolness factor. Likewise, when you get the last course perfectly in tune and your mandolin just relaxes, kind of sighs, and sustains like a bell? So cool.

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  24. #14

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds
    Nerds are cool

  25. #15

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Mandoln coolness seems to rub off on its players,like Don Stiernberg,Dawg,Col.Dave Appolon,Sam Bush,Tim O'Brien,
    Jethro etc.

  26. #16

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    This guy seems like a pleasant enough fellow.
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    This guy is cool.


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  27. #17

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Yawn.

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    Oh yeah.

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  29. #18

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
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    Tiny Tim, once you get past the balony, was way cool. No one played a Uke back then, and the man, along with Leon Redbone, was a true authority on early twentieth century songs, the songs that were played on those old Gibson mandolins. Had he not developed a character, he'd never been heard by anyone. So not cool, he was cool.
    Silverangel A
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  31. #19

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    When people ask me if my mandolin is like a uke, I just say,"Actually, it's a uke with double the strings and double the sound and double the fun. Ukes are certainly OK but a mandolin is twice as cool as a uke. So you should really try one."

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  33. #20
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    I really appreciate that you guys are being civil and all.

    but in my opinion ukuleles are the devil and need to be rooted out one by one from this earth
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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  35. #21
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Tiny Tim, once you get past the balony, was way cool. No one played a Uke back then, and the man, along with Leon Redbone, was a true authority on early twentieth century songs, the songs that were played on those old Gibson mandolins. Had he not developed a character, he'd never been heard by anyone. So not cool, he was cool.
    I never heard of him trying to get past the baloney/weirdness ("Tiptoe Through the Tulips"). Too bad he couldn't come up with a way to demonstrate and market his mastery of the ukulele.
    FWIW, there was one other ukulele player in the mid-to-late sixties: Arthur Godfrey. But he was old, and appealed more to my parents and grandparents than to adolescents.

  36. #22

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    . . . taking up violin one day, I can chase all the cats out of the neighborhood for a while too. :-)
    Been there, done that . . . most of the neighbors still won't talk to me . . . .

  37. #23

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Tiny Tim, once you get past the balony, was way cool . . . the man, along with Leon Redbone, was a true authority on early twentieth century songs,
    Tiny Tim is actually one of my musical 'heroes' - he seemed like a very genuine guy who truly loved music, but had somewhat limited talents . . . I can identify with that!

  38. #24
    Registered User Jim DeSalvio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    I'm partial to the F Style. Way cool. I also have an Eastman oval hole 2 point (no longer made), that is very cool. I keep one at work, and when I pull it out to play a few fiddle tunes, all the nurses think I am cool!!!!!
    Jim D

  39. #25

    Default Re: Mandolins are Cool

    Two pointers are way cool. And of course the nurses dig it, they can recognize a man with refined tastes.

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